Last week Vea's grandma in the Philippines and Timo's grandma in Estonia got stroke. What are the odds that stroke could impact also you or your close ones? Quite high actually. It's in TOP5 reasons of death in developed countries and leading cause in long-term disability. While it can happen at any age, nearly three-quarters of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65.
Witnessing a loved one experience a stroke is frightening, but keeping remaining calm might just save their life.
Here's what you can do:
- Know all stroke symptoms
There are certain stroke symptoms you should be able to recognize. Any sudden onset of trouble with vision, speech — either slurring words or talking nonsense — or weakness on one side of the face or body are signs of stroke. Confusion, inattention, and headache can also accompany stroke. If in doubt, get it checked out. Don't wait to see if it ‘passes.
- Call 911 / emergency service
Don’t waste time by calling a family member, a friend, or the person’s doctor. It’s important to get stroke help immediately to increase the chances of a full recovery. Call 911.
- Stay with your loved one
When offering stroke help, you need to make sure that no additional harm comes to the stroke victim. Stay with the patient to prevent them from falling or further injuring themselves.
- Take a few notes
Make note of the time when the stroke took place. This is critically important information later. If the patient takes any medication, make a list of which ones (including dosage if you know it), and bring it to the hospital. If possible, bring the actual medications to the hospital with you.
- Do not offer the person food or medicine
Although most strokes are caused by blockage in an artery, some strokes are caused by bleeding from an artery that burst. Giving aspirin to someone with this condition could make it worse.
- Stay calm
Although it can be difficult, it’s important to compose yourself and assure the stroke victim that everything is going to be all right. Try to concentrate on the situation and remind yourself that you are doing everything you can to help. Reassure your loved one that you aren’t going anywhere and that help is on the way.
- Keep a positive outlook
When they get the help they need, most patients improve enough to return home and function independently, even if they have some permanent symptoms.